About Scott: Soccer

The only sport that matters

Live action from a game at Crew Stadium

Columbus Crew v. New York Red Bulls, March 2011

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I can watch and appreciate most sports.

Soccer is the only one I care about.

At the age of five, I started playing on a gloriously named team: Bohemians. I played in high school as a central midfielder. When I lived in France, the second time, I lined up at left back for a side which was something like a college intramural team that traveled around the city.

Me holding Francis at MAPFRE Stadium in front of a "Est. 1996" banner

Francis and I at the Crew home opener. Mar 2017

Stands of soccer stadium with big picture of a heart

USA v Guatemala World Cup Qualifier. Mar 2016


I've been a Columbus Crew season ticketholder since 1999, when MAPFRE Stadium (né Crew Stadium) opened.

Shot of soccer game in progress on a sunny day with clear skies

Home opener, Mar 2020, Crew 1 - NYC 0. We had a promising team. And then COVID. And then we won the championship.

The Crew won the US Open Cup in 2002 and the Supporters' Shield - best regular season record - in 2004, 2008, and 2009.

Until 2020, the hallowed year of franchise history was 2008. We won MLS Cup, Guillermo Barros Schelotto won league MVP, Chad Marshall was named Defender of the Year, and Sigi Schmid - may he rest in peace - won Coach of the Year.

The 2015 MLS Cup final, at home against Portland was... not so hot. We lost 2-1 on one very poor play and one very poor non-call.

Pomp and pagentry: signs, logos, blow-up trophies

The scene before the MLS Cup final, 2015. Dec 2015

But 2020 might be the best season to date.

COVID screwed up so many things, including the MLS season. As a season ticket holder, I only went to three games including the playoffs.

Despite the adversity, we advanced to the MLS Cup final. Right before the match, two key midfielders, Darlington Nagbe and Pedro Santos, tested positive for the virus. And the formidable Seattle Sounders were in town, looking for their third title in five years.

It didn't go well for the visitors - we played a masterful match and crushed them 3-0. Be sure to watch the second and third goals.

Closing Notes:

Corner kick in a new, packed stadium

Lower.com Field. We have seats in the River Club.


I've attended most of the US National Team games in Columbus - including every US/Mexico World Cup Qualifier. The most recent Mexico qualifier (November 2016) was a real gut-punch, a weak performance in the first half followed by bad defending on a set piece at the end of the game.

The following October, we didn't even qualify for the World Cup finals after a dismal match at Trinidad & Tobago.

Three people in USA colors standing in a stadium parking lot

Friends Olivia and George with Gina, tailgating before the match. Sep 2013

Cartoon guy in the distance making fun of 2-0 scorelines

Tifo before the USA v Mexico World Cup Qualifier. Nov 2016

What will it take for the US to get back to the World Cup, and to go from the mid 20s of the world rankings - where we deserve to be - into the mid to low teens, even the top ten?

Many people claim to have the answers. I still remember how many armchair experts thought José Torres would be our savior on the field in South Africa 2010. Or Jurgen Klinsmann on the sidelines in 2014 and 2018. They weren't. (I blame Torres for nothing and Klinsmann for quite a bit.)

Two teams facing a crowd showing USA scarves

National anthems, USA v Mexico World Cup Qualifier. Sep 2013

An unshakeable consensus surrounded Gregg Berhalter before he was named head coach in 2018. Will he improve our results at the same time he makes the transition to a new era that neither Klinsmann nor Bruce Arena could? I hope I'm wrong - and I very well might be - but... I don't think he will.

The point is most people are sure about what we need to do to become a world power. I only pay attention to people's certainty on the subject if:

  • They have at least a B License, and working experience with the US Soccer bureaucracy, or
  • They've played professionally

Otherwise, they're just fans talking shit. They might as well be arguing about formations or best uniforms.

Until 2020, the hallowed year of franchise history was 2008.

Favorite players

Speaking of fans talking shit, here are my favorite players ever. Reasons vary. Not in order, except for the first one:

  • Zinedine Zidane - When I saw him at Bordeaux, I immediately knew he was special. I realize I'm not the only one.
  • Guillermo Barros Schelotto
  • Carlos Valderrama
  • Lucas Zelarayán
  • Paul Scholes
  • Dennis Bergkamp
  • Andrés Iniesta
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic
  • Thierry Henry
  • Clint Dempsey
  • René Higuita (see below)

Coaches: Sigi Schmid, Caleb Porter, Hector Cuper

If you're unfamiliar with René Higuita, watch this. England v Colombia, September 1995. Worth the forty seconds:

Recent Posts

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Postcard: Lake Tahoe  4/30/2021

Baedeker's United States  4/5/2021

To Shake the Sleeping Self  3/7/2021

Adrift  2/25/2021

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A smiling Francis and me, sitting outside in front of some shrubs

Some basics

A brief biographical sketch

Me on top of a sunny Mt Pilatus in Switzerland, with mountains in the background


Pardon the saccharine and the obvious, but travel is everything

A couple standing in front of a large Gothic church, on a bridge over the Seine


France deserves its own section

Francis, as a two year-old in a car seat, in sunglasses reading a French picture book


The bullshit of daily life? I'd rather read.

Stage with musicians going at it - they're Gogol Bordello, and they're crazy


Let me take you back

Little boy sitting on a big white bed, looking at a tablet


I watch a lot more television than movies

Live action from a soccer game at Crew Stadium - yellow versus blue


The only sport that matters

Ugly photo of a pig knuckle after it's been eaten - really, it looks horrible


As a travel writer, I have to talk about food

Me in an outdoor restaurant drinking from a green coconut with a long straw

Dumb stuff

You will not feel smarter after reading this

Dumpster full of garbage


Trying to live simply

Me getting out of a red Ferrari F430 with a guy clapping for me

Other Interests

I've only driven a Ferrari once

Dude wearing orange pants and orange and green shoes walking on wet grass

Get off my lawn

A few brief rants

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